Last month Arkk held a roundtable with some of our key tax clients in order to understand the challenges they are facing, how they are progressing with Making Tax Digital (MTD) and what they need to have confidence in the figures they are submitting. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing these insights.
What was most alarming was the sheer number of challenges facing the tax department. Yes ensuring they are compliant with tax regulations is crucial, but ensuring that the figures are correct is even more important. Not just because the fines can be significant, but also because corporate reputation is at stake.
Our clients identified the following as some of the issues they are facing:
- Being reactive, not proactive
- Smalls teams and lack of resourcing
- ERP consolidation that is taking place
- Disparate systems in different regions all with different general ledgers
- Lack of visibility of tax issues globally
- The complexity of jurisdictional differences in reporting and legislation
- Inability to deliver to the business quickly due to current processes
The list goes on and I am sure it is the same in your business.
No more surprises
What they want is an overarching view of the business. Some way to tie all the entities, systems and processes together. Only then can a business improve financial confidence and ensure there are no surprises or reputational issues as a result of inaccurate submissions.
As one attendee pointed out, “The ERP players aren’t going to solve tax for us as their business model is all about global standardisation. One thing for everything, but taxes by their nature don’t fit in this.”
Compliance is a given, it is the viable minimum. But is it really the only thing to consider? With digital linking for MTD becoming mandatory in April 2020 is there a better way to manage your tax?
Or do businesses want to continue to be stuck in the endless cycle of:
- 1. Learn about a new mandate which impacts the organisation
- 2. Purchase software and/or advisory services to comply
- 3. Copy and paste data into the new system
- 4. Comply with the current mandate only
- 5. Repeat
As the Head of Tax for one of our clients said at the roundtable, “We need something like MTD to push tax up the agenda in the business. But we should use it as an opportunity to unify everything, not just comply.”
There is a real opportunity for businesses to go beyond compliance and transform their tax function to not only meet any further regulations but also to ensure that they are 100% confident they are paying the right amount. Surprises are something the CFO dislikes so the tax department needs to make sure it isn’t delivering any.
If you are interested in seeing how your business can go beyond compliance, call us on 0207 037 2758 for a demo.